A reminder for some memebers as to what the F stop is all about.

Started Jan 26, 2014 | Discussions
bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 62,705
Re: Both sides are sort of right

jkrumm wrote:

so we see a D7100 outscoring Canon full frame sensors on DXO.

It doesn't outscore Sony full frame sensors, though.

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Bob

philosomatographer
philosomatographer Contributing Member • Posts: 539
Agreed!
1

Great Bustard wrote:

Wow. Just wow. Everything you wrote is entirely incorrect, and I will prove it wrong with a single example that you can all do at home.

Let's take a photo of a scene with an E5 + 35-100 / 2 at 50mm f/2 1/200 ISO 3200 and 100mm f/2 1/200 ISO 3200 (note that we have used the same lens, same f-ratio, same shutter speed, same ISO, same sensor, and thus same sensor efficiency and pixel size).

We now crop the 50mm photo to the same framing as the 100mm photo and display both photos at the same size. Which photo is more noisy and why?

(Hint: while the sensors are the same size, the cropped photo uses only 1/4 the area of the sensor, and thus only 1/4 as much light makes up the cropped photo as the uncropped photo.)

I have to agree - the poster does not appear to know the first thing about digital imaging.

We have had some strong disagreements in the past regarding the performance of different lenses, but I just wanted you to know that - when it comes to image sensors, we are in the same camp.

I know what you were trying to achieve with your hypothetical scenario, but it is, of course, not realistic. With the smaller sensor, we are usually shooting at two stops less noisy ISO, because our lens is often two stops faster, and often better in the optical department (because of telecentricity, and the fact that it's larger in relation to the sensor, and thus better-corrected).

In that scenario, the only thing that really matters is lens quality.

Then there is the case where you are shooting at base ISO on your 35mm sensor already - and there is no "two stops less noisy" ISO 25 setting on the small sensor. Then the small sensor can offer no match for the larger sensor, no matter what the origial poster seems to be claiming.

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 62,705
Re: Agreed!
3

philosomatographer wrote:

I know what you were trying to achieve with your hypothetical scenario, but it is, of course, not realistic. With the smaller sensor, we are usually shooting at two stops less noisy ISO, because our lens is often two stops faster,

That is exactly it. If you can go two stops down in f-number (and lower ISO), the smaller sensor brings advantages of size and cost. So, that tends to limit the practical advantage of FF to wider than f/4 for zooms and wider than f/2.8 for primes, because you can't get the lenses at that range. There are some popular lenses where Four Thirds cannot go, like the Nikon 14-24/2.8 or 24 or 35/1.4 lenses but for the the bulk of brighter light photography for deeper DOF, there isn't a whole load of difference.

and often better in the optical department (because of telecentricity, and the fact that it's larger in relation to the sensor, and thus better-corrected).

I don't think telecentricity helps the optical department, in fact it makes it more difficult to correct the lens, but allowing the lens to be oversize in relation to the sensor certainly does help

In that scenario, the only thing that really matters is lens quality.

Then there is the case where you are shooting at base ISO on your 35mm sensor already - and there is no "two stops less noisy" ISO 25 setting on the small sensor. Then the small sensor can offer no match for the larger sensor, no matter what the origial poster seems to be claiming.

That is a point that the Four Thirds designers seem to have missed, with a base ISO of 25, the system would have matched that too.

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Bob

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 9,549
Re: Both sides are sort of right
2

Exactly, the sensors with the latest Sony tech in M43, Nikon APS-C and  Nikon/Sony Full frame  all step up according to size fairly reliably.

However, sometimes it's like comparing a 120 hp motorcycle to a  similar 150hp one.  They both feel pretty darn  fast, and they both get you there.

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John Krumm
Juneau, AK

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 62,705
Re: Both sides are sort of right
1

jkrumm wrote:

Exactly, the sensors with the latest Sony tech in M43, Nikon APS-C and Nikon/Sony Full frame all step up according to size fairly reliably.

Except that the D7100 is Toshiba tech! Still Nikon seems to have gone back to Sony with the D3300 and D5300

However, sometimes it's like comparing a 120 hp motorcycle to a similar 150hp one. They both feel pretty darn fast, and they both get you there.

Even 120 hp is quite enough for pretty much every riding situation, which is the point.

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Bob

n3eg
n3eg Senior Member • Posts: 2,796
A reminder for some members as to what collecting lenses is all about.
1

All I know is, if I compare a f/1.8 50mm Canon FD lens with a 50mm f/1.8 m4/3 lens, even with the adapter for m4/3 on the Canon lens it's a lot cheaper than the native m4/3.   That's what you gain when you use the bigger lenses.

And having learned both electronics and photography around age 13, I know the f-stop is a resistance measurement, not voltage or current.

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It ain't easy being me, but someone's gotta do it.

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Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 43,431
Re: Agreed!

philosomatographer wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Wow. Just wow. Everything you wrote is entirely incorrect, and I will prove it wrong with a single example that you can all do at home.

Let's take a photo of a scene with an E5 + 35-100 / 2 at 50mm f/2 1/200 ISO 3200 and 100mm f/2 1/200 ISO 3200 (note that we have used the same lens, same f-ratio, same shutter speed, same ISO, same sensor, and thus same sensor efficiency and pixel size).

We now crop the 50mm photo to the same framing as the 100mm photo and display both photos at the same size. Which photo is more noisy and why?

(Hint: while the sensors are the same size, the cropped photo uses only 1/4 the area of the sensor, and thus only 1/4 as much light makes up the cropped photo as the uncropped photo.)

I have to agree - the poster does not appear to know the first thing about digital imaging.

We have had some strong disagreements in the past regarding the performance of different lenses, but I just wanted you to know that - when it comes to image sensors, we are in the same camp.

Pleased to hear it!

I know what you were trying to achieve with your hypothetical scenario, but it is, of course, not realistic. With the smaller sensor, we are usually shooting at two stops less noisy ISO, because our lens is often two stops faster, and often better in the optical department (because of telecentricity, and the fact that it's larger in relation to the sensor, and thus better-corrected).

Actually, the 4/3 lens is not "often", or even ever, two stops faster to the FF offerings.

In that scenario, the only thing that really matters is lens quality.

This is correct.  Of course, since a 4/3 photo is enlarged 2x as much as a FF photo for the same display size, the lens must be 2x sharper at the equivalent f-ratio for a given pixel count and AA filter.

Then there is the case where you are shooting at base ISO on your 35mm sensor already - and there is no "two stops less noisy" ISO 25 setting on the small sensor. Then the small sensor can offer no match for the larger sensor, no matter what the origial poster seems to be claiming.

I think the reason they don't have ISO 25 is because the lower ISO setting would result in more noisy pixels and would adversely hurt higher ISO performance.

Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 43,431
Re: Both sides are sort of right
1

jkrumm wrote:

As far as I can tell, the amount light is relative. Light does not increase in density or anything like that with a full frame, and 2.8=2.8 as far as shutter speed and iso goes.

This is correct. However, since a given scene luminance and shutter speed results in the same density of light (same amount of light per area on the sensor), the larger sensor collects more total light in proportion to the ratio of sensor areas, and it is the total amount of light collected by the sensor, along with the sensor efficiency, that matters, not the density of light falling on the sensor (exposure).

The main difference with sensor size is that the larger the sensor, the less you have to enlarge the image when developing it. That's why full frame (and medium and large format) tend to have more resolution even with the same megapixels. It was the same in film days. Increased megapixels is sort of like using a finer film grain, but it's only going to get you so far.

Of course, 4/3 lenses are sharper than FF lenses, which offsets that advantage for FF somewhat. That is, if a 4/3 lens is twice as sharp as a FF lens, it will resolve as well as a FF lens for sensors with the same pixel count and AA filter.

Depth of field differences we all know and can all agree on.

Indeed. However, as seen above, many do not understand the connection between DOF and noise.

DR and noise differences depend as much on current tech as anything else, so we see a D7100 outscoring Canon full frame sensors on DXO. Clearly though, we can see the there is both a correlation between sensor size and these things, and sensor tech and these things, at least at this point in digital camera development.

DR is, in my opinion, even more misunderstood and Equivalence. If you have any interest, here's a rather detailed write-up I did on it which discusses, in detail, what DR is, how it is affected by pixel count, sensor size, and sensor efficiency:

http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/index.htm#dr

including examples with some modern systems.

All that said, the differences between these cameras is not worth arguing about (though I admit it can be fun sometimes).

If you flip through the challenge winners here on DPR, I'm sure you would not be surprised to find that IQ rarely, if ever, plays a role in how people vote, and that the IQ differential between systems  is usually unimportant in terms of the "success" of the photo.

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 62,705
Re: Agreed!
1

Great Bustard wrote:

Then there is the case where you are shooting at base ISO on your 35mm sensor already - and there is no "two stops less noisy" ISO 25 setting on the small sensor. Then the small sensor can offer no match for the larger sensor, no matter what the origial poster seems to be claiming.

I think the reason they don't have ISO 25 is because the lower ISO setting would result in more noisy pixels and would adversely hurt higher ISO performance.

This is purely a marketing issue - the ISO equivalence is two stops lower in any case. They could also use the Aptina DR-Pix switchable pixel (like the Nikon 1 series), which could give 25ISO base without the read noise penalty.

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Bob

Kurt_K Contributing Member • Posts: 750
Re: simply embarrassing
1

Lets see a show of hands. How many believe a larger telescope doesn't let in more light?

He made it quite clear in his original post that the measurements are relative, not absolute.

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 62,705
Re: simply embarrassing
4

Kurt_K wrote:

Lets see a show of hands. How many believe a larger telescope doesn't let in more light?

He made it quite clear in his original post that the measurements are relative, not absolute.

How many believe a larger telescope doesn't let in more light relative to a smaller one?

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Bob

Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 43,431
Question:
1

philosomatographer wrote:

...from this weekend, 35-100mm f/2.0 at f/2.0 (Olympus E-5).

Really, who the hell cares about all these equivalency arguments. There are such finer aspects of image quality and lens rendering that have a much greater impact on your photography. f/2.0 is more than sufficient for effective subject isolation even when the subject is enormous, and a couple of meters away.

Close Encounter

Would the "success" of that photo suffered if it had been instead taken at 83mm, 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 200 with a 50-200 / 2.8-3.5 instead of the 83mm, 1/4000, f/2, ISO 200 with the 35-100 / 2 that you used?

If so, then that's why some choose larger formats.  If not, why not use the smaller, lighter, and less expensive zoom that has a much greater focal range?  Is it for the 35-50mm end of the zoom?

Robert Morris Contributing Member • Posts: 810
Re: Gosh - that complicates everything...
2

Is it still OK to say "members" in mixed company?

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RM

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OP gsergei Contributing Member • Posts: 842
To all who continue to accuse me of all kinds of photographic sins...

Or why the light meter doesn't care.

Hello, again.

Let me repeat my point:

Given the same light source conditions and ISO setting the illumination, measured in lumens, received by any size of sensor is equal across all formats (no Ifs , no buts) , when cameras are set to the same A , S, ISO values. So, in practical terms this means, that the illumination received by my tiny c7070 at 125/5.6 and ISO 100 is exactly the same as on the so called FF sensor camera set to the same values. This will result in the same picture brightness/darkness , subject to DR and noise differences.

Please, do not feed me things like "amount of light", "sensor area", "light power" , "bigger lens opening" etc. and try to operate , using known physical terms and concepts.

Here is the final word. Please, do me a favor:

get hold of ANY light meter (be it a 40 year old analogue one, or a modern Sekonic) and look at it carefully and then tell me , where do you see "Canon FF" or "Olympus c2020" or Fujifilm X100s ??? And then prove me wrong.

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Sergei,
Calgary.
www.alberta-photo.com

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Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 43,431
Um...

gsergei wrote:

Or why the light meter doesn't care.

Hello, again.

Let me repeat my point:

Given the same light source conditions and ISO setting the illumination, measured in lumens, received by any size of sensor is equal across all formats (no Ifs , no buts) , when cameras are set to the same A , S, ISO values. So, in practical terms this means, that the illumination received by my tiny c7070 at 125/5.6 and ISO 100 is exactly the same as on the so called FF sensor camera set to the same values. This will result in the same picture brightness/darkness , subject to DR and noise differences.

No one that I'm aware of claims that f/2 will not result in the same exposure regardless of format or focal length for a given scene luminance and shutter speed.

Please, do not feed me things like "amount of light", "sensor area", "light power" , "bigger lens opening" etc. and try to operate , using known physical terms and concepts.

If the difference between the amount of light per area that falls on the sensor (exposure), and the total amount of light the sensor records is difficult to understand, well...

Here is the final word. Please, do me a favor:

get hold of ANY light meter (be it a 40 year old analogue one, or a modern Sekonic) and look at it carefully and then tell me , where do you see "Canon FF" or "Olympus c2020" or Fujifilm X100s ??? And then prove me wrong.

Speaking of "final words", understanding the difference between the amount of light per area on the sensor (exposure), the total amount of light that falls on the sensor, and how these relate to the visual properties of the recorded photo is rather fundamental:

http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/#exposure

This section will answer the following four questions:

  • For a given scene, what is the difference in exposure, if any, between f/2.8 1/200 ISO 400 and f/5.6 1/200 ISO 1600?
  • What role does the ISO setting play?
  • What role does the sensor size play?
  • What does any of this have to do with the visual properties of the photo?

As mentioned in the introduction of this essay, the concept of Equivalence is controversial because it replaces the paradigm of exposure, and its agent, f-ratio, with a new paradigm of total light, and its agent, aperture. The first step in explaining this paradigm shift is to define exposure, brightness, and total light.

The exposure is the density of light (total light per area -- photons / mm²) that falls on the sensor during the exposure, which is usually expressed as the product of the illuminance of the sensor and the time the shutter is open (lux · seconds, where 1 lux · second = 4.1 billion photons / mm² for green light -- 555 nm). The only factors in the exposure are the scene luminance, t-stop (where the f-ratio is often a good approximation for the t-stop), and the shutter speed (note that neither sensor size nor ISO are factors in exposure).

For example, two pics of the same scene, one at f/2.8 1/200 ISO 100 and another at f/2.8 1/200 ISO 400 (on any system, regardless of format) will both have the same exposure, since the same number of photons per unit area will fall on the sensor, but the ISO 400 photo will appear 4x (2 stops) brighter than the ISO 100 photo since the signal is amplified by a factor of four due to the higher ISO setting.

The brightness, then, is the brightness of the final image after an amplification is applied to the exposure either by adjusting the ISO and/or a push/pull in the RAW conversion, and is often what people mean when they say "exposure". For example, pics of the same scene at f/2.8 1/200 ISO 100 and f/5.6 1/200 ISO 400 will be processed to have the same brightness, even though the f/2.8 photo has 4x (two stops greater) exposure than the f/5.6 photo.

The role of the ISO setting in exposure is in how the setting indirectly results in the camera choosing a different f-ratio, shutter speed, and/or flash power, any and all of which will change the exposure. For example, changing the ISO from 100 to 400 may result in the camera choosing f/5.6 instead of f/2.8, 1/200 instead of 1/50, f/4 1/100 instead of f/2.8 1/50, etc. Aside from that, the ISO control on the camera will apply an analog gain (which results in less read noise for higher ISOs with cameras that use non-ISOless sensors) and/or a digital push/pull (usually for intermediate ISO settings).

The total light is the total amount of light that falls on the portion of the sensor used to for the photo during the exposure: Total Light = Exposure · Effective Sensor Area. The same total amount of light will fall on the sensor for equivalent photos but, for different formats, this will necessarily result in a different exposure on each format, since the same total light distributed over sensors with different areas will result in a lower density of light on the larger sensor. Using the same example above, pics of the same scene at f/2.8 1/200 on mFT (4/3) and f/5.6 1/200 on FF will result in the same total light falling on each sensor, but the exposure will be 4x (2 stops) greater for the mFT photo, and thus the FF photographer would usually use a 4x (2 stops) higher ISO setting to get the same brightness for the LCD playback and/or OOC (out-of-the-camera) jpg.

Lastly, the Total Light Collected (signal) is the amount of light that is converted to electrons by the sensor, which is the product of the Total Light that falls on the sensor during the exposure and the QE (Quantum Efficiency of the sensor -- the proportion of light falling on the sensor that is recorded). For example, if QE = 1, then all the light falling on the sensor is recorded. For reference, the Olympus EM5, Canon 5D3, and Nikon D800 all have a QE of approximately 0.5 (50%).

In terms of IQ, the total light collected is the relevant measure, because both the noise and DR (dynamic range) of a photo are a function of the total amount of light that falls on the sensor (along with the sensor efficiency, all discussed, in detail, in the next section). That is, noise is determined by the total amount of light falling on the sensor and the sensor efficiency, not the ISO setting on the camera, as is commonly believed (the ISO setting is simply a matter of processing the signal, discussed in more detail here). In other words, the less light that falls on the sensor, the more noisy and darker the photo will be. Increasing the ISO setting simply brightens the captured photo making the noise more visible.

For a given scene, perspective, and framing, the total light depends only on the aperture diameter and shutter speed (as opposed to the f-ratio and shutter speed for exposure). Fully equivalent images on different formats will have the same brightness and be created with the same total amount of light. Thus, the same total amount of light on sensors with different areas will necessarily result in different exposures on different formats, and it is for this reason that exposure is a meaningless measure in cross-format comparisons.

Mathematically, we can express these four quantities rather simply:

  • Exposure (photons / mm²) = Sensor Illuminance (photons / mm² / s) · Time (s)
  • Brightness (photons / mm²) = Exposure (photons / mm²) · Amplification (unitless)
  • Total Light (photons) = Exposure (photons / mm²) · Effective Sensor Area (mm²)
  • Total Light Collected (electrons) = Total Light (photons) · QE (electrons / photon)

So, we can now answer the questions posed at the beginning of the section...

I know, I know -- anything that takes more than a sentence or two to explain isn't worth knowing, right?

windsprite
windsprite Senior Member • Posts: 2,710
Re: To all who continue to accuse me of all kinds of photographic sins...

gsergei wrote:

Or why the light meter doesn't care.

Hello, again.

Let me repeat my point:

Given the same light source conditions and ISO setting the illumination, measured in lumens, received by any size of sensor is equal across all formats (no Ifs , no buts) , when cameras are set to the same A , S, ISO values. So, in practical terms this means, that the illumination received by my tiny c7070 at 125/5.6 and ISO 100 is exactly the same as on the so called FF sensor camera set to the same values. This will result in the same picture brightness/darkness , subject to DR and noise differences.

Please, do not feed me things like "amount of light", "sensor area", "light power" , "bigger lens opening" etc. and try to operate , using known physical terms and concepts.

Here is the final word.

Sorry, but you do not get to decide what the "final word" is.

Please, do me a favor:

get hold of ANY light meter (be it a 40 year old analogue one, or a modern Sekonic) and look at it carefully and then tell me , where do you see "Canon FF" or "Olympus c2020" or Fujifilm X100s ??? And then prove me wrong.

One might say the same of a ruler.  Why, then, is it acceptable to say 300mm on FT is equivalent to 600mm on FF?

Julie

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pris Senior Member • Posts: 2,191
Sergei, a question...
2

gsergei wrote:

Given the same light source conditions and ISO setting the illumination, measured in lumens, received by any size of sensor is equal across all formats (no Ifs , no buts) , when cameras are set to the same A , S, ISO values. So, in practical terms this means, that the illumination received by my tiny c7070 at 125/5.6 and ISO 100 is exactly the same as on the so called FF sensor camera set to the same values. This will result in the same picture brightness/darkness , subject to DR and noise differences.

Yes but will all that still hold true when you try to make the image of the same perspective, frame and DOF? All the cross-format comparisons make sense only while you compare the same resulting image; as soon as you make different images, you have no basis for comparison. Think of what you are going to have to do to obtain the same DOF and whether your words above still hold.

get hold of ANY light meter (be it a 40 year old analogue one, or a modern Sekonic) and look at it carefully and then tell me , where do you see "Canon FF" or "Olympus c2020" or Fujifilm X100s ???

No, but your light meter only cares about light falling on the scene. It makes no judgement about framing, perspective and DOF you want to obtain - and that's exactly where the difference between "Canon FF" or "Olympus c2020" or Fujifilm X100s" kicks in.

windsprite
windsprite Senior Member • Posts: 2,710
Re: After reading your " Sensors measure charge not current"

Kim R wrote:

windsprite wrote:

rhlpetrus wrote:

Bob, this is hopeless.

Don't give up so easily. The discussion has only been going on for ten years or so.

Julie

LOL Love your sense of humor!

It's nice to feel appreciated.

Julie

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OP gsergei Contributing Member • Posts: 842
Please, refer to the original point of discussion:
1

Someone in Dave Gaines' thread exclaimed:

"convince me, that an Olympus 25mm F/2.8 produces the same light" as a FF lens at F/2.8"

then someone referred to a "guru" , saying" that bigger sensor "gathers" (I totally hate this) more light. This statements prompted me for my essay. That's all. Then the topic was highjacked by other people. I wasn't going to  cut circles ad infinitum about DOF and FOV, which topics have already been beaten up to death.

best wishes.

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Sergei,
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windsprite
windsprite Senior Member • Posts: 2,710
Very OT: Japanese drinking customs

Because this is more fun than Equivalence Argument #13,962:

bobn2 wrote:

My memory of Japan is that beer is served in shot glasses, which means you can neck quite a few and still stand up.

Hmmm. Usually if you order "a beer" you get a pint of draft, or you can specify a pint and a half. I don't know what's up with the shot glasses. I've never been served beer that way.

Are you sure it wasn't sake? That comes to you in a 180 ml server, with a little shot glass for each person. The alcohol content of sake is more than twice than that of Japanese beer but less than half that of hard liquor. It's usually around 14%, like grape wine.

If you order a serving of sake for one person, sometimes they will put a 150 ml or so glass in a small dish and pour in 180 ml of sake so that it overflows into the dish. This is visually lovely and makes you feel nicely pampered.

When you drink in large groups, for example at an office party or wedding reception, often large bottles of beer are put around the room and everyone is given a 5- or 6-oz. (150-180 ml) glass. Maybe this is what you remember? The rules are:

1) Don't pour your own beer (or any other drink, even non-alcoholic ones)

2) Don't let anyone else's glass get empty

3) Never refuse to let some one fill your glass

The mutual pouring of drinks is a bonding experience. The small glasses allow more opportunities for bonding!

Sometimes there will be sake (or shochu -- distilled liquor) alongside the beer. I've been to office parties where they fill an empty lacquerware soup bowl with sake and pass it around so that everyone can take a sip (well -- many, many sips).

The problem when other people pour your drinks before the glass is empty (and this happens dozens of times throughout the evening) is that you have no way of keeping track of how much you have drunk!

First time I experienced one of these office parties, the following day I had to take a two-hour bus trip at five in the morning to get to the airport to catch a 20-hr. international flight. Let's just say I was glad I had the presence of mind to take the motion sickness bag from the bus with me to the airline counter ....

Sometimes at these parties they will have huge ash trays or shallow pans under the tables (usually you are sitting at low tables on tatami mats), and it's acceptable to discreetly dump the contents of your glass into them, as long as you leave a little bit so that it doesn't look like your companions committed the faux pas of letting your glass get empty. This is especially common at wedding receptions, where the bride and groom sit at a table at the head of the room and hundreds of guests line up to honor them with a congratulatory pour.

The important thing is that you are always ready to receive more alcohol in case someobody wants to "bond" with you!

Julie

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